Banks and insurers help shares end up


SHANGHAI stocks edged up, boosted by banks and insurance companies on news that main domestic banks saw their profits rise over the first half year.

The Shanghai Composite Index added 0.43 percent to end at 3,251.26 points.

Banks and insurance firms led the growth “as investors were encouraged to buy their shares after the China Banking Regulatory Commission said the profitability of the domestic banks rebounded,” Avic Securities said.

China’s main commercial banks made a total profit of 970.3 billion yuan (US$145 billion) over the first six months of the year, up 7.92 percent from a year ago.

Meanwhile Chinese consumers spent 485.2 billion yuan on insurance from January to June, an increase of 13 percent from a year earlier, the brokerage said.

Bank of China gained 3.32 percent to 4.04 yuan, while Anxin Trust Co added 2.53 percent to finish at 14.57 yuan.